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Elliot Johnson
Mueller Community

Posts: 20
Joined on August 28th, 2013
ATTENTION: SOLAR OWNERS!
by Elliot Johnson on December 18th, 2013

One final post and then I will stop ranting and leave everyone alone.

Payback
In designing the VOS, one of the stated goals was that by fairly valuing the PV production, this would reduce the payback of the system and increase solar installations.

http://www.austinenergy.com/energy efficiency/programs/rebates/solar rebates/proposedValueSolarRate.pdf


They studied payback and estimated that under net metering that the system payback was around 12-12.5 years, and that as part of the benefit of the VOS this would be reduced to 8.5 years.

A little over a year later, AE now thinks that 10 years is a more reasonable payback, which is fine, but I believe is a bait and switch tactic.

Also, if the VOS were to drop to 7 cents as threatened by the AE VP at the EUC meeting, the payback could go up to as much as 16 years.

Further, this does not even began to discuss those 'early adopters' that installed systems before the VOS was even contemplated, say before 2007, their payback from AE records was already around 16 years average.

Everyone's payback is different, everyone's reason for doing solar is different. However we should all know, transparently, what the utility intends to do.

What will happen to the VOS under an independent board?
What will happen to the VOS if AE decides to sell and go private?
 
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Susan Egan
Mueller Community

Posts: 57
Joined on April 29th, 2013
ATTENTION: SOLAR OWNERS!
by Susan Egan on December 18th, 2013

Obviously AE has changed the rules mid-game, increasing the payback period for consumers by decreasing their rebate and the VoS. Since our system was just installed, we are being significantly impacted. We do feel it unfair...but then again we probably paid somewhat less per kWh for our system than others did.

VoS is indeed a complicated calculation, one that invites fudging numbers for the benefit of whomever is doing the calculation. There needs to be a simpler way to do it. Perhaps it's net metering.

We've written our e-mails, as all of the changes AE has recently made or proposed are disincentives to installing solar.
 
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danx111
Mueller Community

Posts: 1151
Joined on November 25th, 2008
ATTENTION: SOLAR OWNERS!
by danx111 on December 19th, 2013

Story tonight, 6:00PM on KXAN
 
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kromel
Mueller Community

Posts: 217
Joined on January 19th, 2008
 
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Rob Clinchard
Mueller Community

Posts: 6
Joined on January 1st, 2011
ATTENTION: SOLAR OWNERS!
by Rob Clinchard on December 22nd, 2013

Thank you Elliot for taking the time to do the KXAN news story.

AE will be "stealing" over $500 from my family on 1/1/14. I should not be surprised. Only our govt can change the rules mid-game multiple times and just smile as they give us the middle finger.

Unlike many individuals in this neighborhood, I did not install my solar panels to save the earth or to be part of something "special". I did it based on economics which seem to be getting worse by the minute. I can not wait to see what surprises AE has in store for us in 2014.

Anyone in the hood have a clever suggestion for consuming just over $500 worth of power in 10 days?
 
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danx11
Mueller Community

Posts: 192
Joined on May 24th, 2009
 
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Elliot Johnson
Mueller Community

Posts: 20
Joined on August 28th, 2013
ATTENTION: SOLAR OWNERS!
by Elliot Johnson on December 22nd, 2013

Dan is the one to thank, he got KXAN interested.

FYI,
The reset date, like everything AE has said, is not 1/1.

The reset date is your first billing cycle. So whatever date your last December bill ended on, they reset the next day, so dont over consume in the next 10 days.

I told Kurt I thought we was doing it a month early, he said he would clarify and get back to me, he has not yet.

Also I plan to go to the EUC and City Council later in January to continue the dialogue in citizen communication. I will let you know the date, but the more that come the better. I could use 1 person to donate some time, 3 minutes is not sufficient to do this justice.

Everyone have a great holiday and New Year.
 
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danx11
Mueller Community

Posts: 192
Joined on May 24th, 2009
ATTENTION: SOLAR OWNERS!
by danx11 on December 22nd, 2013

Quote:
Dan is the one to thank, he got KXAN interested.
FYI,
The reset date, like everything AE has said, is not 1/1.
The reset date is your first billing cycle. So whatever date your last December bill ended on, they reset the next day, so dont over consume in the next 10 days.
I told Kurt I thought we was doing it a month early, he said he would clarify and get back to me, he has not yet.
Also I plan to go to the EUC and City Council later in January to continue the dialogue in citizen communication. I will let you know the date, but the more that come the better. I could use 1 person to donate some time, 3 minutes is not sufficient to do this justice.
Everyone have a great holiday and New Year.

=============================
If you want to see how our City Council handled the Austin Energy stealth rate increase check this:
http://austintx.swagit.com/play/12052013-612 Item # 8 - it's only a few minutes, the length of time needed for Council to stick it to their constituents
 
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danx11
Mueller Community

Posts: 192
Joined on May 24th, 2009
ATTENTION: SOLAR OWNERS!
by danx11 on December 22nd, 2013

...and it you have the stamina (and stomach) you can watch the Electric Utility Commission Meeting video re: solar credit, how AE does things behind closed doors, etc.
http://austintx.swagit.com/play/12182013-551 items 9 & 10
 
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schroed
Mueller Community

Posts: 221
Joined on February 7th, 2008
ATTENTION: SOLAR OWNERS!
by schroed on December 22nd, 2013

Quote:
…AE will be "stealing" over $500 from my family on 1/1/14

Unlike many individuals in this neighborhood, I did not install my solar panels to save the earth or to be part of something "special". I did it based on economics…


Well, congratulations on your weak business decision-making. Congratulations also for being the biggest whiner on the thread.

Here’s something to keep in mind: virtually everyone reading this is part owner of Austin Energy, and as such, it is in our interest to ensure that AE makes sound business decisions. When the initial Value of Solar (VOS) rate was set at 12.8 cents, it seemed too high to me. I don’t know if the new rate, 10.7 cents, is fair or not, as I haven’t reviewed the method. But I do know that, had they started with this rate, there would be far fewer of you whining about ‘theft’ today.

As part-owner, I do not think AE should be paying its customers to be net producers of energy. It’s just not good business for a utility to be engaged in. I do think, however, they should have policies to promote distributed power production, particularly for power produced at peak usage times, to avoid the expense of adding generating capacity to meet the peak demand. That is good business. Drawing a line between these two positions is not easy, but it is important to do so. It may or may not be a good business decision to zero-out folks’ credits, but it was clearly a poor political decision, and I hope AE finds a more equitable solution.

In the meantime, please keep in mind that this website was created by Mueller residents for discussion of Mueller community issues. To those of you on this thread who do not live here, but are using the site to promote your own interests, I encourage you to move along.
 
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